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Process, Habit, and Memory
Date Sunday November 15
Time 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Location Details
6501 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland (just North of Alcatraz Ave.)
Event Type Other
Organizer/AuthorGene Ruyle
Emailcuyleruyle [at]
Sunday Morning at the Marxist Library

Process, Habit, and Memory

Mechanistic models predominate in modern science. Under modern mechanism, universal forces alone move material particles, constantly rearranging them in different configurations. Whitehead referred to this as simply a ‘rearrangement of the parts,’ and rightly saw it as ruling out free will and genuine evolution. Marx also argued against such a bourgeois interpretation of matter precisely because it ‘excludes history and its process.’

In his recent book, Being Alive: New Science that Recognizes and Attempts to Account for Life and Mind, author Philip Tryon shows how history and process can be reintroduced into the sciences in order to account for inclinations as well as non-random, purposeful activities of organisms. He will describe to us an emerging model of organicism that recognizes the agency, attempting to show how history and process may come into play.

Briefly, all organic entities in the universe embody processes that are repeating: A spider spins a web in a way that is similar to its predecessors and to its own past self. Every seed and fetus goes through a process of growth and development that is representative of the species. Roses bloom over and over again. Every individual protein molecule (of a given type) has one particular way of folding up (except for prions). If the universe and its organisms have a habit forming tendency, then this may provide a way of explaining memory in the most general sense, showing how and why history, in the form of past occasions, can be an influence on the present.

Sunday, Nov 15, 2015 - 10:30 am to 12:30 pm
6501 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland (just North of Alcatraz Ave.)

Seating is limited, so plan to come early. We start promptly.
FREE - but hat will be passed for donations to NPML

About Sunday Morning at the Marxist Library
A weekly discussion series inspired by our respect for the work of Karl Marx and our belief that his work will remain as important for the class struggles of the future as they have been for the past.

For info or to subscribe to our weekly announcements,
Call Gene Ruyle at 510-332-3865 or email: cuyleruyle [at]
For our full schedule, go to
Added to the calendar on Monday Nov 2nd, 2015 5:14 PM

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